If you’d like, soak the beans overnight before cooking; it will help them cook more quickly and evenly. The key thing, though, is to be very gentle with the beans while they simmer so they don’t break apart in the process.
This recipe is by Kelly Mariani from Scribe Winery in Sonoma, CA.
- Handful of oregano sprigs
- Handful of thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 oz. dried butter beans or cannellini beans, rinsed, soaked in salted water overnight if possible
- 1 medium onion, halved
- 1 large carrot, scrubbed, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
VINAIGRETTE & ASSEMBLY
- 10 oz. cherry tomatoes or 1½ cups chopped heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 lb. assorted heirloom, beefsteak, and/or cherry tomatoes
- Handful of basil leaves
- Mild red pepper flakes (such as Aleppo-style or Maras)
- FOR THE BEANS: Tie together oregano, thyme, and bay leaves with kitchen twine. Combine beans, onion, carrot, and herbs in a medium pot. Pour in water to cover beans by about 4″, salt, and bring to a very gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat and cook at the barest of simmers, stirring hardly at all, until beans are creamy and tender at the center but not falling apart or mushy, about 1½ hours (this could take longer, depending on the beans). The key is to not agitate, which will help the beans maintain their shape. Remove pot from heat. Gently stir in oil. Let cool. Drain beans; discard onion, carrot, and herbs.
Do Ahead: Beans can be made 2 days ahead. Keep in liquid; cover and chill.
- FOR THE REST: Purée cherry tomatoes in a blender. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in garlic, vinegar, and ⅓ cup oil; season with salt. Let sit 15–20 minutes, then pluck out garlic.
- Transfer drained beans to a medium bowl and add vinaigrette; toss gently to coat. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Slice, halve, or quarter heirloom tomatoes and arrange on a platter or divide among individual plates. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Spoon beans along with plenty of vinaigrette over; top with basil and a few pinches of red pepper flakes.